News Briefs for August 26, 2011August 26, 2011
•New Zealand’s total wine sales rose 11% to 221 million liters for the year through June 30, as export value jumped 5% to $1.1 billion, according to the New Zealand Winegrowers Association. Underlying the growth, however, was a significant increase in lower-priced bulk wine exports—particularly in the U.S. and U.K.—which shows no signs of decreasing in the coming year. “Bulk wine exports are now a major trend for the entire global wine trade,” said New Zealand Winegrowers Association chair Stuart Smith, adding that the ratio between bulk and bottled exports is currently around 70 to 30. “We need to accept that there is no going back to the ‘golden days’ before 2008.” Since 2008, New Zealand’s wine industry has struggled with both the effects of the global economic crisis and oversupply issues, which could be exacerbated by this year’s 328,000-ton record harvest.
•Heineken USA is planning to roll out a new winter seasonal brew, Noche Buena, to limited markets including Texas and Chicago this October. A Bock-style lager brewed by Mexico’s Cerveceria Moctezuma (part of Heineken-owned FEMSA), Noche Buena is the best-selling seasonal offering in its domestic market. Heineken USA saw declining sales of its name brand offset gains by Dos Equis in the half-year through June. With Noche Buena, it’s targeting a rising seasonal beer category that enjoyed a 13.2% sales rise in 2010, according to Nielsen.
•Stolichnaya vodka owner SPI Group has named Robert Cullins global commercial director, replacing Denis Brause, who is leaving the company. Cullins will supervise SPI’s commercial development, focusing on Stolichnaya. Cullins has experience in wine and spirits including positions at Southern Wine & Spirits, E&J Gallo Winery, Allied Domecq and Maxxium Worldwide, where he was CEO of Maxxium Japan and managing director of Maxxium Korea.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.